Every year people are killed or seriously injured in incidents involving underground electricity cables.
Underground cables carry a powerful electrical charge which can be conducted through machinery and equipment with fatal consequences. Anyone working close to live underground cables should take time to read this simple safety leaflet and identify the precautions they should be taking.
Who is at risk?
People in construction and allied trades, agriculture, infrastructure or anywhere else where excavation work is taking place. That is why it is vital everyone working on or visiting a working site is fully aware of the hazards and the steps that must be taken to avoid them.
How accidents happen
Sadly accidents where excavators, breakers, other plant and hand tools make contact with power cables are not uncommon. Where equipment or machinery is used near underground cables the risk must be considered and controlled in the interests of everyone.
For more information see the UK Power Networks Dig Under Ground Safety leaflet.
Working Safely near Power Lines
What are the dangers?
Overhead lines carry a powerful electrical charge which can be conducted through machinery and equipment with fatal consequences. Anyone working close to live power lines should take time to read this simple safety leaflet below and identify the precautions they should be taking.
Who is at risk?
People in construction, forestry, agriculture, infrastructure or anyone else who may work near overhead lines. It is vital that everyone working on, or visiting a working site is fully aware of the hazards and the steps that must be taken to avoid them.
How accidents happen
Sadly accidents where cranes, diggers, trucks, excavators, trailers and other plant make contact with power lines are not uncommon. Electricity can jump gaps so be aware that machinery does not have to touch a power line to result in a serious or lethal electric shock. Materials such as rubber and wood may not be an effective insulator against a high or low voltage charge and cannot be relied upon to prevent an electric shock. Even though power lines are normally visible, people are less aware of them when they are engrossed in their work so accidents do happen. Where equipment or machinery is used near overhead lines the risks must be considered and controlled in the interests of everyone.
For more information see the UK Power Networks Staysafe around electricity leaflet and the UK Power Networks Working Safely Near Power Lines leaflet
Scaffolding and Electrical Safety
HAVE YOU RECENTLY...
Been working less than 15 metres away from power line conductors or pylons?
Been working less than 9 metres away from poles?
Been working very close to electricity conductors attached to a chimney, gable end wall or facia termination fitting?
Was the owner of the asset i.e. Distribution Network Operator (DNO) aware of your project?
Get the right advice
Get a site visit from the electricity supply company's safety advisor.
Get a copy of HSE Guidance Note GS6.
Further guidance is available to all by telephone, Energy Networks Association or via Health and Safety web sites.
For more information see the UK Power Networks Think before you ... Construct Scaffolding leaflet.
Who to contact
Contacting your electricity distributor
UK Power Networks offers free safety advice to companies working near power lines.
If you require advice contact our General Enquiries Team:
UK Power Networks
Ipswich, IP3 8AA
Telephone: 0333 323 2105 (9am to 5pm Mon-Fri)
Other helpful organisations
Health and Safety Executive Information Services
Caerphilly Business Park, Caerphilly, CF83 3GG
Telephone: 0845 345 0055
National Access and Scaffolding Confederation
4th Floor, 12 Bridewell Place, London EC4 6AP
Telephone: 020 7822 7400
For more information see the UK Power Networks Construct Scaffolding safety leaflet
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